Story Two of five
Gender Nonconforming Performance Artist and Writer
Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them) is a creative whose eclectic style transgresses gender norms. Their work encourages another way to think, dress, and live beyond binaries.Read Their Story
Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them) is a creative whose eclectic style transgresses gender norms. Their work encourages another way to think, dress, and live beyond binaries.
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I am a writer and performance artist trying to give permission in the world to create instead of conform. My queerness is my everything: my identity, my passion, my life's work. All of my art is for the LGBTQI+ community.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is every day darling! Living my truth even when it hurts, precisely when it hurts. Existing unapologetically in my difference.
How did you get to where you are today?
The long legacy of resistance of trans and gender nonconforming people inspires me. I have always surrounded myself with people who believe in me and help me manifest myself. I soon recognized that we need other people to become our best selves.
“Rather than choosing to be quiet and stay put, I continue to push forward so that all of us can be free.”
How do you feel about queer representation in your community and overall?
While we have made some important strides, we still have a long way to go. Trans — and especially gender nonconforming people — are still largely neglected by the mainstream LGBTQI+ community. Despite our historic contributions to the movement, we are dismissed, ignored, and ridiculed. I would love to see more of a commitment on all fronts to center the visibility and leadership of gender nonconforming people of color.
What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
People fear you because you are free. Don't mistake their jealousy as superiority.
What are your hopes for the future?
That we live in a world where we recognize that there are as many genders as there are people in the world.
How would you describe your coming out experience?
Infinite and forever. I'm always coming into a new dimension of myself.